I was walking across campus to the place Braden had scrawled on the note in his jerky handwriting when we crossed paths.
“Let me see what you’ve got,” Braden gestured to the notebook I held to my chest. I handed it over and he flipped it open.
“Hi to you too,” I said and he looked up and made eye contact with me.
“Hey Asha,” he said before continuing to read. “Wow, you’re really good at this.” I blushed, but he was too busy reading to notice. “I had a few to tell you but you’ve got them already.”
“Sorry to steal your thunder,” I say and he laughs.
“Don’t worry about it,” he says, handing it back as we walked. I slipped it into my grey messenger bag.
We walked into the woods by the pond that was part of the school property. A few minutes away from the treeline and far from all the popular study locations, it was the perfect place to be intentionally misplaced. However, just to be safe, we also perched ourselves on a high tree branch, side by side, with our feet dangling about seven feet from the ground.
Once we were situated, he reached into his pocket for something, nearly losing his balance. I laughed as he produced another yellow post-it note, again, folded in four.
“How many sticky notes do you have in those pockets of yours?” I asked, laughing.
He just smiled and handed it to me, “Here, it’s the number.” I started to type it into my phone. We’d decided to use mine because, due to my ridiculous lack of contacts, less people would be likely to recognize it and know who the caller was.
“Alright. So you know the plan?” I asked, thumb hovering over the ‘Call’ button.
“Yep, you?” I nodded, and with a final look at him, hit the button and put it on speakerphone.
We stared at the phone as it rang four times before a recording of a warm, male voice answered. “Hello, this is the Defiance. Please input your eight digit student identification number to validate your identity or choose to remain anonymous by pressing zero.”
I pressed 0. "Elkridge Academy students: Join the Defiance to end injustice in our private school today! For more information, please provide your eight digit student identification number to validate your identity..."
Braden and I looked at each other. So much for remaining anonymous. I hung up.
“Alright, time for plan B,” Braden said.
“We have a plan B?”